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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Randy Orton - Heel or Face"
November 10, 2005 by Justin Pulaski


"I am the Legend Killer!" - The famous quote that made the fans of the WWE boo every week when they saw the young superstar, Randy Orton. During his time on RAW, he was one of the biggest heels they had. Mr. Orton was up there with HHH, Ric Flair, and Kane. These were all men that the fans loved to hate. But the question was, "Could Randy Orton ever possibly be a face"". The answer came sooner rather than later when he defeated Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, and promptly booted out of Evolution. That night on RAW when Orton was beaten and bloodied by all three members of Evolution, many were shocked, and many were thrilled. This was something the fans had been wanting for awhile; a face Randy Orton. Then again, some were mad. Some were going to miss the young, cocky heel that took out Mick Foley and The Rock. The Randy Orton that spit in the face of the legends. The Randy Orton that could cut a promo and make it so good. How could anyone see this man as a babyface" He soon became one after humiliating HHH on RAW, along with other members of Evolution. All of this though, was just a hair too soon. A month later, Randy Orton would drop the World Heavyweight Championship to HHH.

Now what was he to do" Go back to a heel again or stay as a face" Many didn't like the new Randy Orton. They all wanted the old guy back. Everyone wanted "The Legend Killer". Orton didn't cut good promos like he did when he was a heel. He didn't spit in anyone's face, or RKO a famous superstar in the WWE for the hell of it. The face wasn't working for Orton anymore. It was time for a change. It was time to go back to "heel mode". What better way to do it than to RKO his on-screen girlfriend, Stacy Keibler. What a shock to the fans when he did this. But, when they all saw him deliver the move, they knew who was back. They knew that the real Randy Orton was back. I marked out when I saw him RKO her. I had been waiting for this so long. The face was boring. I hated him like that. When he's a heel, his mic skills are great, his matches are entertaining, and his overall appearance in the WWE is awesome. How could the WWE ever make him a face in the first place" Was it just to give HHH back the World Title" Was it possibly what I had said earlier, too-soon of a push" The WWE wasn't ready for a face out of Orton. If they want entertainment, the heel is where it's at.

Most fans enjoy watching the heel characters on television. They bring the entertainment with them more than the faces do. Randy Orton brought more. He was something the WWE had been longing for. He was developed into a perfect character for his age. Once he was drafted to SmackDown!, it started all over. This is where his feud with Undertaker continued after WrestleMania 21. What better person to have him feud with than The Undertaker" He fit everything Orton needed. An old, washed up Legend that needed to be "killed". After many matches, Orton finally put Taker to rest in the recent Casket Match. And to add insult to injury, Orton and his own father lit the casket on fire after they were finished with it. Now tell me, can you see HHH or Ric Flair doing something like that" No, only Randy Orton can pull a move like that, and make the fans in the arena have to pick their chins up off the floor. Randy Orton is a perfect heel and I don't know why the WWE should ever make him a face again. The whole "hero" character just doesn't fit him. If they ever do though, it better bring a good storyline with it. Randy Orton is the future, and becoming a face does that fit "I'm the Legend Killer" slogan at all. He is still the heel he was before, and I hope it stays that way.

by Justin Pulaski ..


Bishop92882 wrote:
You must be a newbie. "Only Randy Orton can pull off a move like setting a casket on fire, blah blah"......... About the setting the casket on fire...............I may not be able to envision Triple H or Ric Flair doing something like that........But I HAVE already seen Kane do it! Sledgehammer a hole in the casket, pour gasoline on it, set it on fire, then top it off with a trademark pose. Rent Royal Rumble '98. Although Randy Orton's character does have an near-infinite amount of potential, the truth is, he is getting stale lately. That's why the WWE brought his father in (Bob Orton Jr.).Give a dull persona a hated former top heel for a manager and watch him skyrocket. Look at Van Vader and Harley Race. Have you noticed lately on Smackdown that his pop has been in more high-profile matches than him" The whole cocky, brash youngster gimmick worked better when he was an Evolution member, and there is still a LOT of fine-tuning left to be done to his character. Randy Orton can't be face because, let's face it, his microphone skills are barely average. That's why most wrestlers say its easier to be heel. All you have to do is be a jerk to the fans or insult their favorite wrestler(s), and BAM!, you're over. Honestly, I think RKO could have been a good face if they hadn't killed his push just because HHH wanted to be able to sleep next to the title again. They should have let that feud go on for 4 months or so to help further develop his face mic skills, considering that he was already way over just from the fact that he was opposing HHH. Orton probably still can shine either at face or heel. Blame nepotism if you want for the last mess. I do. By the way, Orton never took out The Rock. Randy Orton never wrestled The Rock one-on-one. Was that at a house show (psst, this is total sarcasm)" What I do remember is Orton pinning MICK FOLEY at Wrestlemania when the Rock n' Sock took on Evolution.
Alex Dance wrote:
I find it hard to comment here cos i was still semi-mark during ortons time with evolution but what i do remember is constantly being so irritated by him from a character point of view that was always hoping he would get beat and lose his title. Even though i was still half mark at that point very few of the heels could make me really hate him on this level the way a heel should make a fan hate him. i loved seeing him get beat down and hated him winning

Randy Orton for me is exactly what the WWE thinks he is "the future" but he needs to be built up to superstar status as a heel because it is what he excells at. His run as babyface seemed incredibly forced and although it worked until he was squashed by Hunter he is easily better as the cocky heel, the WWE were however obviously trying to push him into the top face spot with the fued.

However this failed push; along with his injury and backstage antics and all the other things that have alledgedly held him back from being where his fellow evolution member Batista is now may be a blessing. If it had not we might currently have an orton babyface champ being forced down our throat as i believe is the case with Ortons fellow "future" superstar Cena. Instead his credibility is being built back up and will no doubt be a heel champ very soon

No doubt he will have to change face eventually at some time in his career but it would be much wiser for the WWE to make it happen much later when it can be done more naturally when he is an established champion. Orton should definatly be heel
Evan P. wrote:
I don't know what you guys are thinking! Randy Orton was way better as a face. I don't know if I really think this, or if I just think he was better as a face because I'm from St.Louis, MO like Randy. I agree on one thing though. Randy is good on the mic and is a natural smack talker. When he is a heel he can just rip on anyone. But when he was a face he couldn't help it but to still rip on people. But only then he ripped on bad guys, and that was good . It is good to be a former heel and talk smack and then become a face and still have the skill to talk smack, but only to the bad guys. When Evolution turned on him and then the next week Randy spit in HHH's face, I knew he was gonna be awesome ! They should have made the fued go longer until after wrestle mania so Randy could for sure be a good guy and people would trust him to not turn back to a heel. But the day I saw him looking at the Undertaker magazine on Raw, I knew he was gonna challenge the Undertaker and become a heel again. I've been hoping for him to go back to face again, but for what he's been saying to Mysterio lately, I don't think that's gonna happen any time soon.
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